John "Johnny" Rider, PhD, OTR/L, MSCS, CEAS

Associate Professor
John Rider
School of Occupational Therapy
(702) 777-4837

Start Biography

Dr. Rider joined Touro University in July of 2017 as an adjunct professor, and in February of 2018, he joined as a full-time faculty member. He is an alumnus of Touro University Nevada’s Occupational Therapy program and his positive experience led him to return as a faculty member. His clinical expertise is in adult and older adult orthopedic and neurological rehabilitation. He started his clinical practice in rural areas of Southern Nevada and has experience in outpatient/inpatient rehabilitation, acute care, school-based, early intervention, and home health and hospice. He currently works as a community-based occupational therapist and clinical consultant. Dr. Rider also provides primary care occupational therapy services at Volunteers in Medicine of Southern Nevada alongside OTD students.

Dr. Rider’s research interests are broadly within the realm of physical medicine and rehabilitation with a focus on neurodegenerative diseases. More specifically, he is interested in understanding the mechanisms of interventions and therapeutic applications to improve the quality of life of individuals with neurodegenerative disorders and acquired brain injuries. Dr. Rider is also involved in research and student projects related to persistent pain, functional cognition, mental health, lifestyle medicine, fear of falling avoidance behavior, and the role of occupational therapy in emerging practice areas.

Dr. Rider is involved in the community as an instructor for evidence-based fall prevention programs such as Stepping On and Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance. Additionally, he is a certified Mental Health First Aid and Empowered Relief instructor. Dr. Rider is also involved in adapted sports and includes current OTD students in his community-based seating and mobility clinic and the local quad rugby team.

Dr. Rider received his Bachelor of Arts in Deaf Studies and Linguistics from Utah Valley University in 2011 and is a nationally certified American Sign Language Interpreter. He received his Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Touro University Nevada in 2015. He received his Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences with an emphasis on Rehabilitation Science from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in 2021.

  • Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor from by the National Council for Behavioral Health
  • QPR Suicide Prevention Training for Occupational Therapists by QPR Institute
  • Multiple Sclerosis Certified Specialist (MSCS) by the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers
  • Human Movement Specialist (HMS) by the Brookbush Institute of Human Movement Science  
  • Certified Empowered Relief Instructor by Stanford Medicine, Stanford University
  • ImPACT Trained Occupational Therapist in Post-Concussion Management by ImPACT Applications, Inc.
  • FMT Movement Specialist by RockTape
  • Stepping On Master Trainer by Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging
  • Credentialed, Physical Agent Modalities (CPAM) by the Physical Agent modalities Practitioner Credentialing Agency, LLC
  • Vestibular Rehabilitation Certificate by Medbridge Education and PESI
  • Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance Level 1 Community Instructor by Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance
  • Graston Technique MI Preferred Provider by Graston Technique Movement Center
  • Stepping On Workshop Leader by Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging
  • Carfit Technician
  • Certified Ergonomics Assessment Specialist by The Back School
  • Occupational Therapist – State of Nevada and Arizona Board of Occupational Therapy,
    Nevada License #15-0601, Arizona License #006338
  • American Sign Language Interpreter – Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, License #61002
  • OTDV 514: Human Structure and Occupation
  • OTDV 528A: Occupational Therapy for Neurological Conditions
  • OTDV 527: Psychosocial Approach to Occupation
  • OTDV 714: Advanced Clinical Reasoning in Adult and Older Adult-Based Occupational Therapy Practice


  • OTDV 637: Occupation Skills lab for Adults
  • OTDV 657A&B: Integration of Learning in Occupational Therapy
  • OTDV 504: Introduction to Quantitative and Qualitative Research

Dr. Rider is currently studying activity avoidance due to fear of falling to inform clinical practice, reduce falls, and improve quality of life. Dr. Rider previously held a visiting researcher appointment at the Cleveland Clinic - Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Nevada and serves on multiple task forces for the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. He has ongoing research projects with persistent pain management, functional cognition, fall prevention strategies, geriatric mental health, neurological rehabilitation techniques, lifestyle medicine, and occupational therapy’s role in primary care. For a complete list of peer-reviewed publications, please see the links below.

  • Summer Doctoral Research Fellowship, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, $7,000 (2020)
  • Englested Foundation Grant for High Rollers Adaptive Sports Foundation Community Wheelchair Clinic, $35,000 (2020-2021)
  • Multiple Sclerosis Rehabilitation Scholarship - Foundation of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers, $2,500 for MS Rehabilitation Specialty Training Program Fellowship
  • Researcher for the Future, Awarded by the Nevada Occupational Therapy Association at the 2019 Annual Conference
  • American Occupational Therapy Association
  • Nevada and Arizona Occupational Therapy Associations
  • American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine
  • International Association for the Study of Pain
  • International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology Society
  • Nevada Goes Falls Free Coalition
  • Registry of Interpreters of the Deaf
  • Pi Theta Epsilon Honor Society